Forest walk. A deer eats in peace. Then a noise. It flees. I see deer more often. Wild boars too. Rabbits hopping across the field. Deer cross my path. Leisurely. No, there is no danger from me. Only once was I lucky enough to see a fox. Very briefly only. Then he was gone again. You are scared. In front of man. Before those with the guns. But how do you know I don’t have a rifle? Deer seem to know. And wild boars. There are closed seasons. At least for the deer and roe deer. Not for wild boars and foxes. That’s why they’re so shy.
“You have to shoot them, the foxes, because they transmit rabies and the fox tapeworm,” it says.
Rabies has been eradicated. Not by the hunters. By immunization by means of vaccination. The chance of getting the fox tapeworm is 1: 1,700,000.
“And you have to shoot them because otherwise they’ll kill the small game,” they say.
The small game is considered to be threatened. Meant are hares, partridges and pheasants. Primarily. That’s why they are shot. If the fox were to tear it, there would be less for the hunters. That will not do. He’s unpopular. A predator. The mice are the beneficiaries that the fox cannot eat because it dies somewhere streaked with lead. The mice multiply quickly. There is more left for the birds of prey. Too much. They take over and destroy the crops. But the hunter shoots the fox.
„Fox you stole the goose,“ he whistles merrily to himself as he chases the dog into the burrow where the fox mother desperately protects her young. She pushes the dog out of the den, away from her babies. Four brave men are waiting at the entrance and shoot them to death. Then you can leave the babies to their fate. Let it die miserably. It’s like that without a mother. You toast it. To the hunting success. Graciously correct. And the desperation of a mother who wants nothing but to protect her offspring.
Intervention in natural habitats. In spring the fawns with their legs cut off. It was the combine harvester. There are no more places to retreat. Only human area. The remaining wildlife are intruders. Profit killer. You run in front of the car. Can’t they run down the street when they panic fleeing? Shouldn’t you think that far? It is dangerous. That’s why you build fences. Bridges over roads. Installed even more. Even more restriction. Where nature meets civilization, one of the two has to give way. Usually nature. They drive the jeeps through the forest. Every day. For feeding. No, you can’t say that. It is not fed. You go crazy. It’s about attracting. Then they drive the jeeps to the top and the game comes by itself. But pedestrians are annoying. You make noise. The jeeps don’t. Or they are necessary. Not a walk in the woods. The way I do it. Just for recreation. My dogs trot obediently next to me. Suddenly they discover something in the tall grass. They sniff wildly until there is no other way out than to get up, the deer. They stand in front of each other face to face, the deer and the dogs. Soft, dark eyes. Fear flickers in it. For a few seconds all three are petrified. Just look at each other. Nothing else. Then finally the deer takes flight. Only now are the dogs moving again and wanting to go after the deer. The hunting instinct awakens when the prey moves. I grip the lines tighter, but it’s only a brief reflex. Then they stand still next to me again and we watch the graceful creature as it runs across the meadow and ultimately disappears between the trees.